Case summary: Malin and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2014

Case summary:  Malin and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, 2014

Relevant Facts:

The applicant’s (Abdi Malin) previous claim for benefits from motor vehicle accident was dismissed on March 31, 2014 under O.Reg.403/906 of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule from the Insurance Act .   The hearing was conducted by Financial Services Commission of Ontario held for expenses on Dec 6, 2013.  The legal representative for the applicant filed a motion for withdrawal for the said hearing.  Upon receiving the motion for withdrawal, the arbitrator (Edward Lee) granted an adjournment of hearing on expenses for both parties on Mar 21, 2014.  The applicant failed to attend the hearing but the legal representative for the respondent (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance) did.  The hearing took place with the absence of the applicant.

Issue:

The Arbitrator (Edward Lee) was tasked to decide:

  • if the respondent (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance) would be compensated for expenses (in the form of “tax, disbursement and costs”) in preparation for the hearing.
  • if the respondent was rewarded expenses, how much was it entitled to.

Law:

Tribunal Decision:

The Arbitrator (Lee) awarded the respondent (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance) expenses of $2000.00.  The reward covered the expenses the respondent incurred for this hearing including “costs, disbursements and taxes”.

The Arbitrator also exercised his authority to grant expenses to the respondent (State Farm) based on similar rulings following the principle of “broad-minded, pragmatic approach”,

Reasons:

The Arbitrator (Lee) made the above decision because the applicant (Malin) only attended the pre-hearing conference on Sept 10, 2013.  He did not attend the motion of withdrawal hearing for his legal representative on Dec 6, 2013 and also failed to attend the subsequent hearing on Mar 21, 2014.  The respondent, in essence, did not subject to two examinations that required swearing.  Furthermore, the applicant did not comply with the order for evidence submission with regard to cost within thirty days of the decision made on Mar 21, 2014.

Because the respondent (State Farm) attended the original pre-hearing conference and the other two proceedings with applicant’s absence, the arbitrator felt it was reasonable to reward it $2000.00 for the “cost, disbursement and taxes” incurred for these hearings.

 

Leo Tam is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.

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